MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
Anna Manning President and Chief Executive Officer
RGA enjoyed a successful 2016, surpassing $11 billion in revenue and $1.0 billion in pre-tax income. RGA’s enterprise strategy and global operating platform continued to deliver innovative and effective client solutions across geographies and product lines. The year’s success was driven by solid top-line performance and robust earnings, underscoring the benefits of RGA’s diversified business model.
Earnings per share of $10.79, a 45% increase over 2015, reflected strong performance in most key business segments. Return on equity was 10% and RGA’s balance sheet remained strong. We achieved these results despite ongoing macroeconomic headwinds from lower interest rates and weaker foreign currencies. Net premiums increased 8% over 2015 based primarily upon solid organic growth and modest contributions from in-force transactions. Once again, balance and diversity of product offerings across a global operating model allowed RGA to overcome the challenges and generate substantial long-term value.
In the U.S., our traditional reinsurance business recovered from a difficult 2015 and delivered results in line with expectations. Net premiums increased 9% over 2015 totals to reach $5.2 billion, marking the first time RGA’s largest segment has surpassed $5 billion in annual premiums. Pre-tax income for U.S. traditional business totaled $371 million, a 57% increase over 2015. Results in 2016 benefited from higher variable investment income and an improvement in individual mortality experience. We expect volatility in mortality claims over the short term as a natural part of our business, while longer-term mortality results can be expected to smooth out over time. RGA ended the year with $3.1 trillion of assumed mortality risk, with over half of that in our U.S. business.
The U.S. Group business also rebounded in 2016. Political uncertainty and a changing marketplace led to a dynamic industry landscape and helped fuel demand for voluntary products. We are well-positioned to take advantage of additional opportunities as the long-term direction of U.S. healthcare becomes more defined.
Once again, balance and diversity of product offerings across a global operating model allowed RGA to overcome the challenges and generate substantial long-term value.
RGA maintained a leading position in the Canadian market for the tenth consecutive year by continuing to deliver valuable solutions to meet client needs. Our traditional business in Canada generated pre-tax income of $135 million in 2016. With new capital requirements for insurance and reinsurance companies set to take effect January 1, 2018, RGA is actively engaging clients and leveraging our global expertise to help insurers adapt to the new regulatory regime.
In Asia, favorable demographic trends continued to create growth opportunities as expanding middle classes and greater individual wealth drove demand for life insurance and living benefits products. RGA’s leadership position in delivering innovative products to clients across the region helped generate more than $1.7 billion in revenue in our Asia Pacific traditional segment. This segment had another successful year with pre-tax income of $114 million, an 8% increase over 2015, primarily from favorable claims in the Asia region partly offset by the strengthening U.S. dollar. We expect to see sustained growth in this region given current trends and RGA’s proven ability to leverage its strong franchise as a market leader. Our Australian operations saw increased claims volatility in the second half of the year more than offsetting the good performance in the first half, ending the year in a slightly unfavorable position.
Revenue grew to $1.2 billion in RGA’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa traditional segment. Our Middle East and South Africa offices in particular recorded solid results and were recognized as leading reinsurers in their respective markets. In the U.K., RGA retained a leading market share of retail mortality business, due in large measure to engaging clients in forward-looking projects, such as an electronic health records initiative.
Global Financial Solutions (GFS) recorded another outstanding year overall, with pre-tax income of $433 million. All three product lines – capital-motivated reinsurance, asset-intensive reinsurance, and longevity reinsurance – performed well. Implementation of Solvency II, which went into effect on January 1, 2016, provided the central focus for our GFS teams in Europe. Transactions under the new capital regime proved complex and time-intensive, and required educating regulators, clients, and other parties on proposed solutions. RGA nevertheless executed a number of innovative Solvency II-compliant transactions, including a first-of-its-kind longevity deal in France and the first lapse shock absorber in the Netherlands. GFS enjoyed a particularly successful year in the U.K., driven primarily by an increase in longevity transactions. We see continued opportunities to leverage RGA’s strong client relationships, superior capabilities skill set, and proven ability to execute.
RGA executed a number of mid-sized and small in-force and other transactions in 2016. We continued to pursue a balanced approach to capital management by deploying approximately $130 million in capital via transactions and $117 million through stock repurchases. These results reflect discipline in deploying capital into deals that meet established risk standards and return hurdles. We ended the year with an excess capital position of $1.1 billion and are well-positioned to pursue transactional opportunities in the future.
SUCCESS IN 2016 RESULTED FROM THE SAME CORE PHILOSOPHY OF COMMITMENT TO CLIENTS, FOCUS ON EXECUTION, AND PURSUIT OF INNOVATION THAT HAS FUELED RGA’S MOMENTUM FOR MORE THAN FOUR DECADES.
Facultative expertise remained a signature strength. RGA underwriters reviewed more than 600,000 facultative cases for the second consecutive year to establish a new record high. To meet increased consumer demand for a more streamlined, automated insurance purchasing process, RGA teams applied their facultative expertise to explore and develop accelerated underwriting solutions for clients. The U.S. team launched Dynamic Risk Selector, an innovative tool that brings together application and evidence data, including the exclusive TransUnion TrueRisk® Life credit-based behavioral score, and applies a proprietary predictive model to speed the issuance of fully under-written policies, often without the need for invasive and time-consuming medical tests.
To facilitate additional advances, we consolidated our regional innovation accelerators under the RGAx banner in 2016. RGAx’s mandate is to develop new products and services by leveraging RGA’s core reinsurance expertise. By bringing innovation teams together, RGAx associates can now leverage capacity, expertise, and experience and identify the best markets in which to scale up promising concepts.
Success in 2016 resulted from the same core philosophy of commitment to clients, focus on execution, and pursuit of innovation that has fueled RGA’s momentum for more than four decades. Our strategic direction moving forward is a natural extension of this philosophy and will adapt as the marketplace evolves. Insurers today face increased pressures and opportunities from economic trends, demographic shifts, changing consumer needs, and regulatory requirements. Our talented teams of industry experts make RGA the ideal partner to seize such opportunities. We combine a proven approach with a dynamic business model to anticipate, adapt, and achieve results.
At the end of 2016, Greig Woodring, RGA’s CEO for the past 37 years, retired. I would like to acknowledge and thank him for his extraordinary vision and leadership and for the enormous value created during his stewardship of RGA. Greig leaves a legacy founded on his passion for our industry, our clients, and all our people.
I would also like to personally thank RGA’s dedicated associates, clients, shareholders, and partners for their role in making 2016 a remarkable year. I look forward to what we will accomplish together in the years ahead.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Return on Equity
Strong Financial Performance
Positive results across all lines of business produced an exceptional year financially. RGA ended 2016 with $3.1 trillion of assumed life reinsurance in force, total assets of $53.1 billion, and $11.5 billion in total revenues. RGA also maintained high financial strength and credit ratings throughout the year.
Book Value Per Share Growth
(23-year CAGR, since IPO)
(2016 compared to 2015)
(5-year CAGR, 2012-2016)
New Standard in Facultative Underwriting
RGA remained the industry leader in large-amount and substandard risk underwriting, recognized for rapid turnaround times and superior facultative expertise. RGA underwriters reviewed a record 659,204 facultative cases in 2016: